Official Vatican exorcist, Don Gabriele Amorth, blames priest pedophilia on Satan, atheists, and working women

No joke. According to Salon today, official Vatican exorcist Don Gabriele Amorth:

. . . told the UK Times, “All evil is due to the intervention of the Devil, including pedophilia.” He also added that contemporary culture has “given in to the Evil One. You see it in the lack of faith, the empty churches, the collapse of the family. Compare the world of today to when I was a boy in Modena: families and parish communities were strong, women did not go out to work.”

And Catholic Mary Elizabeth Williams responds to Don Gabriele Amorth this way:

I don’t want to read too much into it here, but did the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists actually just sort of suggest that if some priest in Rio is sodomizing his altar boys, it might be my fault because I have a job?

Yes, Mary Elizabeth, that is exactly what he’s done: he’s suggested that the Church has been infected by Modernity. In other words, he has put it on you, and me as an agnostic, and those fighting for gay marriage equality, and Satan. Everyone, in other words, except the priests actually responsible, and the bishops and popes—including Pope Benedict—who have, over many years, enabled them, and covered for them.

Oh, and when was Don Gabriele Amorth born?


In other words, when he was “a boy in Modena” and “parish communities were strong”—and “women did not go out to work”—Europe was fast coming under the grip of fascism.

You know, the good old days.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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10 Responses to Official Vatican exorcist, Don Gabriele Amorth, blames priest pedophilia on Satan, atheists, and working women

  1. Jan Zasadil says:

    You are twisting the oritinal article around to mind-fuck people. Amorth talks about a combination of factors that contribute to the fact that children do not have as much attention of their parents as they used to and he blames this on the socio-economical development that forces parents to do so “because one job cannot support the family.” Also, before he industrialization, it was common for most children to work in their parent’s profession and learn from them, thus spending much more time with them on a natural basis. It is a socioeconomic fact, nothing more. You can always stretch it ad absurdum by 1. ridding it of the context I have filled in for you above, 2. taking an “indignant genuine insider” who misread the article the same way you did and 3. using exaggeration by distancing, such as “I am to blame for clerical sodomy at the other side of the globe.” If this is the way you read every newspaper article and every interview, then I can only wish you good luck in finding your way around in this world…

  2. Jan

    Your brave atempt to savage our daredevil exorcist epicly fails as we ask WTF do this have anything to do with priests, Amorth’s colegues BTW, fucking chidren?
    What’s that? Society became secularized then preists are “cotaminated” or something? Come on!

  3. santitafarella says:


    I’m with Gato. Priest pedophilia almost certainly goes back centuries (if not millenia). It was the very climate of the 60s which the priest bemoans—where people on the margins of culture lost their invisibility and started speaking out in an open way—that brought these things into the daylight. The priest has it exactly the wrong way around: patriarchal culture used to treat little girls and boys as invisible—to be seen and not heard. But with the expansion of human freedom generally (feminism, skepticism, civil rights etc.) comes the light of justice on yet one more outrageous and long-standing multi-generational evil in the world: priest pedophilia. Modern people have learned to speak about the truths of their experience without shame and to come out of the closet about who they are and the abuse that they’ve endured. The priest clearly doesn’t like these new rules of the road because things can’t get swept under the rug. An authoritarian culture is encountering a democratic culture and blaming the democratic culture for its longstanding evils.


  4. aunty dawkins says:

    Im afraid I giggled when I saw this

  5. aunty dawkins says:

    But seriously as you say Santi it’s an ancient vice which has come to our notice more as victims have become more willing to ‘blow the whistle’.
    Don Gabriele, an octogenarian ‘conservative,’ is expressing his frustrations about contemporary society as would many of his generation, but it doesn’t necessarily make him a fascist does it?
    The behaviour of certain weak and therefore depraved priests is a tragedy for the Catholic Church and the perceived lack of censure from the leadership within that Church, including Don Gabriele, only exacerbates that tragedy.
    The problem with Catholicsim today is that appealing to non accountable authority i.e.God to make decisions that should be accountable is no longer possible in our rational era.

  6. santitafarella says:

    Aunty Dawkins:

    Your point is well taken not to pile on someone who is very old and set in his ways, but there are non-authoritarian 80 year olds in the world, and I would hope that, even in old age, people can be open to change and humane sympathy for the molested.

    I want this pope and his cardinals to say things that any sane and decent person would say: this is wrong and we’re releasing our files to the police to prosecute those in our order that we so long and foolishly harbored. And those of us who harbored them admit our complicity, step down from our positions, and submit ourselves to the law for interviews under oath—and where appropriate—jail time.

    That is the right thing to say and do. That’s what Jesus would say and do. The leadership of the Catholic Church shouldn’t declare themselves the followers of Jesus if they won’t engage in minimal decency.

    Think of those deaf children. 200 of them.


    • aunty dawkins says:

      I wasn’t condoning the failure of the Catholic Church as you will see from my post. I was condemning it and I agree wholeheartedly with your view. Indeed I was intimating that Catholic leaders ,pontif included, cannot hide behind God and ignore secular justice. I just wasn’t sure that your speculation on Don Gabriele’s extreme political persuasion was justified by the available evidence at present.

  7. santitafarella says:

    Aunty Dawkins:

    Because you said “perceived lack of censure” rather than “lack of censure” I took you to mean that what was going on was primarily the appearance of tolerating and harboring pedophiles by the leadership, not intentional or real toleration and harboring. Sorry for the misunderstanding.


  8. Satan Beelzebub XVI says:

    It’s not my fault I’m a nice bloke really. The Vatican has got it in for me ever since god threw me out of heaven for suggesting some sort of autonomy or self though to be allowed. They blame me for everything, it’s just not fair. God made me so in reality it’s his fault for creating evil just to make himself look good, it’s all ego you know.
    See you all soon you sinners.
    Love and kisses, Satan.

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